The Safari was able to get out for a couple of hours this arvo, just after the heavy drizzle started again! What a dreadful day although it was made better by the sight of Chiffchaff (Garden #24) hoping round the Crab Apple Tree, it must have hung around a while as we head a 'hweet' when we something out in the bin at least an hour later.
We went to the nature reserve for the afternoon and walked all the way down to the old, no longer there, bridge to have a look at the new spillway. On the way we heard a couple of Chiffchaffs and Cetti's Warblers but not a lot else.
The spillway looks good, the green thing highlighted is the Eel pass, a bit like an upturned stiff brush to help the Elvers make their way into the lake against the current.
We're not sure if this is the finished product as the original plans show the new work continuing in a sweeping curve on the right hand side to just past the metal fence, smoothing out that tight corner
The water level is very high today, we're not sure if the spillway has been set at the final level yet we couldn't see it from where we could get to. The nearby nesting Mute Swans were busily adding more material to their nest.
The walk back had us hunkering against the rain and doing so we found a Rosy Tipped Worm on the edge of the path.
Wandering back round we had a few minutes on the Viewing Platform but quickly retired to the adjacent hide to escape yet more torrential drizzle. There was lots of gulls but nothing in them other than a few more than recently Common Gulls. Also on the water were a couple of Great Crested Grebes and a female Goldeneye, a Little Grebe was heard as was a Water Rail.
The Feeding Station proved lively with plenty of common garden birds. Then a Magpie joined the throng and managed to get onto the hanging peanut feeder. We tried to get a pic but it saw us moving and did a flit. The small birds soon returned and then flushed, we expected a Sparrowhawk to whizz through but it was a Jay, a good bird for here. Again we hoped for a pic but it didn't come to the feeders but stayed deep in cover a few minutes before shooting off even deeper in.
From there we went down the south side for a look at the Snakeshead Fritillaries but stopped at the cleared bit of Brambles for a look down the mere. It was then that we heard some gulls kicking up a stink over our shoulder, looking round they were giving a Peregrine (MMLNR #75) carrying a prey item some serious grief. A good addition to our PWC list and about time too. We were actually hoping for a Sand Martin or two dropping in between showers but no such luck.
The Snakeshead Fritillaries are developing quickly and we counted over 30 about to flower along with a huge number of Cowslips (for here anyway). There's going to be a good show of Agrimony later in the season too.
More rain had us running to the hide close by where there was nothing to see other than Coots and a peed off looking rather soggy Canada Goose.
In the meantime let us know who got the wettest in your outback.